In New York and throughout the United States, sexual harassment in the workplace is increasingly being reported and addressed. After many years of employers and employees being at odds over this behavior, the rise of the #MeToo movement brought new focus on the problem. With that, lawmakers sought to take steps to ensure that workplaces were properly prepared to deal with the issue. Still, with allegations of employment law violations, the circumstances are rarely clear cut. Each side will have a perspective on what might or might not have occurred, and it can be difficult to sort through. When there is an allegation of sexual harassment, much of the focus will be on the alleged victim, but the employer should also be prepared to lodge a defense.
One of the biggest concerns for New York employers is navigating and adhering to labor laws. This can impact businesses small, medium and large. If there are alleged violations of employment law, lawsuits can be filed. Although employees often pursue these lawsuits in their individual capacity, sometimes the city or state can step in to take legal action against a business that they believe has violated labor laws.
The current situation for drivers of taxis, limousines and car service vehicles in New York is fluid. As the industry changes, companies are increasingly streamlining operations and using different strategies to maximize profit. Often, this leaves drivers wondering how they can adapt and earn the same wages they did in the past when there were fewer alternatives and cars could not be summoned with the press of a button. There is an argument for both sides -- owners and management versus drivers -- that the landscape must be defined with greater clarity.
New York employers understand the difficult nature of running a business and how problems with human resources and employee relations can have a negative impact on the workplace and the business overall. To combat that, most employers will have detailed employee handbooks containing workplace policies such as appearance and comportment, and they expect employees to adhere to the rules therein. Recently, California passed a law that outlaws workplace discrimination based on hairstyles. Now, New York has done the same.
With the attention that sexual harassment is now getting in New York and across the nation, it is no surprise that many states - New York included - are tightening up the laws regarding how these allegations are handled. While these steps are intended to protect employees, it is undeniable that they can also make it difficult to conduct business if employers are repeatedly accused of sexual harassment and related violations, and the laws are in place to hold them accountable even if it is a situation that is not so clear.
In New York and throughout the United States, sexual harassment and how it impacts employees has taken center stage in the news regarding how the issue has been ignored for so long. Employers are commonly held responsible for the behavior of people in the workplace and are forced to deal with lawsuits and take steps to tighten up policies so it does not happen again. This is when it is imperative that employers understand the minimum standards to prevent sexual harassment so they are shielded in case allegations do crop up. Having legal assistance in these cases is not just important for the victim, but for the employer as they might be blameless.
New York employers should be cognizant of the potential changes that might stem from greater attention being paid to worker complaints. While sexual harassment is currently the most commonly discussed issue with regard to problematic workplaces, there are many other issues that should be considered, each of which can have serious ramifications for employers and employees. Employers could be at greater risk of being sued for employment law violations, so it is wise to keep track of them and have advice from a qualified law firm experienced in helping employers protect their interests.
As New York employees become more cognizant of employment law and how it protects them from certain types of workplace discrimination, employers must be similarly aware of the impact these issues can have on their business. A violation can cause extensive problems, lead to a lawsuit, and result in negative public attention. While many forms of discrimination are relatively self-explanatory, such as racial discrimination, gender discrimination and more, one issue that might not be as commonly understood is genetic discrimination.
Throughout New York, employees are feeling more comfortable with lodging complaints about various forms of workplace mistreatment and allegations of wrongdoing. Of course, no employer wants workers to feel as if they are being treated unfairly or subjected to employment law violations. Whether the case is being taken before a panel to investigate it or it is heading to court, the employer will generally be portrayed as the entity in the wrong. However, that is not always the accurate portrait. It is possible that the employee is making claims that are inaccurate or taken out of context. They might be flat out wrong. With that, employers must have a law firm on their side that understands employer defense.
In New York and across the nation, there is an increasing amount of attention paid to workers' rights. In the news, that is often focused on harassment, gender, and sexual orientation workplace discrimination. However, religious discrimination is still a concern for many employers. While employees have the right to practice their religion and receive accommodations for it, employers also have the right to be protected from undue burden and hardship.